We live in a “smart” age--smartphones, smartwatches, even smart luggage are commonplace now--and now it’s time for our home accessories to keep up with our personal ones. Finding the right smart home system for your needs can be daunting, especially if you don’t consider yourself technologically savvy, but we’re here to help with that. Here’s a guide to the major smart home players, and how to choose the one that’s right for you.
Alexa is best known for her musical prowess; “Alexa, play this song” is a common refrain in many households. But she does much more than that. Depending on what your home set up is, Alexa can control smart lights, temperature, locks, and more, all using vocal commands. Alexa is also great for checking the weather or traffic as you’re getting ready for work.
Google Assistant does a lot of what Alexa does--you can play music, get traffic and weather updates, and connect with other smart home devices. If the rest of your tech is Google based (an Android phone or watch, for example) Google Assistant syncs with your info, so you can ask questions like “What does my schedule look like today?”
The newest of the smart home systems, Apple Homekit is improving almost constantly. Much as Google is to Android, Apple Homekit is the way to go if you’re an Apple fanatic. Homekit will communicate easily with an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and other Apple devices. This allows you to control everything all from one “Home” app, making the crazy tech world seem a little more manageable. Homekit also lets you set up a lot of automated functions, like turning up the heat before you get out of bed or turning off the lights when nobody is home.
Other Smart Home Accessories
These three are the biggest names in smart home systems, but they’re by no means the only ones. Brands like Samsung and Logitech are also creating smart home tech, and there are a ton of smart security systems, like Ring doorbells that help keep your home secure even when you aren’t there. As with any technology, finding what works best for you will take a little research, but once you do you’ll be able to check the weather without even getting out of bed.